Latin America

Buenos Aires, Argentina

written by | Posted on January 1st, 2009

From there, we transferred to Recoleta, the site of the vast above-ground cemetery where many of the country’s famous and powerful leaders are enshrined, including Evita herself. Open to the public, the place feels like a tiny city, with stark corridors lined with ornate marble mausoleums. Evita’s grave is the most popular site here, consistently decorated with flowers and other offerings.

Surrounding this somber setting, clients will find a lively arts community. The park adjacent to the cemetery hosts a massive artisans’ fair, where local artists and artisans gather to display their creations, ranging from clothing and jewelry to silver photo frames, beaded wallets and knitted finger puppets. Clients on the market for any sort of leather product should look here first; leatherworkers sell everything from shoes to jackets to handbags, and are often willing to haggle to close the sale.

The Recoleta market is also a center for culture, with live local music playing on the green lawns at its center throughout the day—everything from string quartets to reggae. Explore a bit farther from the market, and you’ll find impressive museums of art likeMuseo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum) a collection of art from both the modern day and centuries ago with an emphasis on Argentine artists, and Museo de Arte Decorativo (Decorative Arts Museum), housed in a gorgeous French colonial building.

Local Flair Compared to the vast boulevards and sprawling mansions of Palermo and Recoleta, the district of La Boca seems a world away. Still, its colorful tin houses are every bit a part of the Buenos Aires experience as are the polished museums to the east. La Boca is primarily a lower-class neighborhood with the touristy Caminito attraction at its heart, a narrow pedestrian road lined with buildings painted in the brightest colors imaginable: canary yellow, vibrant turquoise, fire truck red. Most of the buildings house souvenir shops or restaurants, where outside the doors tango dancers perform to entice paying customers. There’s also a small craft market here, though shoppers would do better to head to San Telmo’s massive open-air antique market, held on Sundays. The San Telmo street fair is set on one of the oldest spots in the city, with dozens of sellers’ booths crowded together in a stone plaza. Shoppers browsing the stalls are often shoulder to shoulder with other buyers, but braving the crowds is worth it for the oddities and unique items you’ll find—everything from heirloom jewelry to tablewear to vintage typewriter keys.

Borello’s Buenos Aires For U.S. travelers, Buenos Aires is one of the easiest foreign destinations to visit; most locals speak at least a bit of English, and don’t mind directing foreigners to their country’s treasured attractions. But there’s so much to see here, so much history and culture (and dining and shopping options), that having a guided itinerary is the best way to see the city, especially for first-time visitors. Enter Borello Travel & Tours, offering a Buenos Aires Experience that ensures clients see all of the city’s major attractions: Casa Rosada, the Palermo and Recoleta neighborhoods, the Caminito and more. The itinerary spends four days in Buenos Aires seeing the sights, then transfers to Estancia Bella Vista, a quaint, scenic former gaucho ranch set about a 2-hour drive from the city, where clients can ride horses, go fishing in the nearby Salado River, or simply relax by the pool (in the summer, of course). The Buenos Aires Experience package starts at $2,450 pp dbl and includes four nights at Faena Hotel+Universe, two nights at Estancia Bella Vista, transfers, tours and taxes.